Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Getting better

Things around here are getting better.  Let's say....about a three out of ten.

This is a far cry from the -4 we were at before, but shows we still have a lot of work to do.

And, my friends, it's been a lot of work.

Luckily, we were able to bring in the professionals, and that's made all the difference in the world.

The only other thing I have to say is that I'm so glad that 13 is an age you reach once, and only once, in your life. 

Like, totally.

In other news, the bees are starting to make brief forays out into the world.  I'm a bit disturbed by the fact that many of the little ladies in front of the door have wax on their legs, as if they were ready to go play house somewhere else.  But, they keep flying back into the hive, so maybe these are pretend run-aways?  I'm really ot sure what to make of it.  We're still getting snow off and on, and no flowers are in bloom ANYWHERE around here, so I've been giving them bit of sugar water here and there.

This past week, on the advice of previously mentioned professionals, we took the family out of the valley and went to the big city far away.  We hit a bookstore, and I splurged.  I've been seeing reference to Ashely's books on a few of my favorite blogs, and when I lay my very own little eyes on them in the store, I couldn't help myself.  Out popped my wallet (rather, out popped Mr. Boom's wallet) and in the flick of the eye I owned Home Dairy and Keeping Bees.  I'd like to blame this on the fact that Chirp-chirp refused to get out of the car, and we were hurrying, so I didn't have time to talk myself out of the purchase.  Let's just go with that, shall we?

Anyway, the hook that got me in the Keeping Bees book was a recipe for fondant for feeding bees when pollen and nectar are scarce (or as the case is here, non-existent). I tried the recipe soon after we came home, but it was a flop.  Does this:

Look like this?

I think not!  I'm not *sure* where it went wrong, but in looking at other fondant for bees recipes I found that the hot sugar mixture is allowed to cool somewhat, then beaten, then allowed to cool down the rest of the way.  The recipe in this book has you pour the molten hot sugar onto a dish, allow it to cool a bit, then pour it into a loaf pan or other similar mold.  Maybe we were supposed to beat it in between the two receptacles? Otherwise, why use two dishes?  It says the final product can be sliced.  Mine is scoopable--not sliceable.  That could be a temperature issue, though, so I'll try it again and cook it hotter.  Anything for my furry little girls and their promise of honey later on!


  1. I'm glad to hear things are improving, although I'm not really going to breathe a sigh of relief until you get to at least a 6.

    Hmm, yeah, something's definitely not working with that fondant. Very odd.

  2. I'm really glad on all fronts. Sorry no clue with the fondant. Chemistry and physics were not my strong subjects. If the fondant is beaten after cooling a bit does this throw air into the mix thus creating the white opaqueness or does beating it kind of force the sugar to crystalise a bit, thus forming an opaque mix? Thats my theories having no clue what the process is.